However, there is a footballing link, as the patron saint of Paisley is St Mirren and Perth’s counterpart is St John. Perth was originally named ‘St John’s Town’, in a name derived from the saint which also gives Perth’s football team St Johnstone its name.
Edinburgh’s patron saint is St Giles, born in Athens, but lived most of his life in what is now southern France, close to the existing French-Spanish border. Celebrating his feast day on September 1st, Giles enjoys a large shrine on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
Although not Scottish by birth, like Giles, St Columba is the patron saint of Iona, where he died aged 75, after constructing a monastery sometime between 563AD and 597AD. Believed to be one of the 12 Irish Apostles, Columba is also credited with founding monasteries in Kells, Derry and Swords in Ireland.
And of course, St Margaret of Dunfermline. Hungarian-born to an English family, she is without doubt one of the more well-known Scottish saints. Margaret fled to Scotland with her family, following the Norman conquest of England, in 1066. Four years later, she married King Malcolm III, assuming the role of Queen consort. Responsible for numerous charitable ventures, she set up a ferry across the Firth of Forth, to carry pilgrims to Dunfermline Abbey, giving the towns of North and South Queensferry their names.
We’ve focused on some of the better-known Scottish saints, but here is the full list:
St Andrew: Scotland and St Andrews
St Baldred: North Berwick
St Blane: Dunblane
St Bossil: St Boswells
St Columba: Iona
St Cuthbert: Kirkcudbright
St Duthac: Tain
St Faolean: St Fillans
St Fechin: St Vigeans, Arbroath
St Giles: Edinburgh
St John: Perth
St John Ogilvie: Keith
St Maelrubha: Applecross and Loch Maree
St Mary: Dundee
St Margaret: Dunfermline
St Molaise: Holy Isle off Arran
St Mungo/Kentigern: Glasgow
St Nicholas: Aberdeen
St Magnus: Kirkwall
St Mirren: Paisley
St Ninian: Whithorn
St Serf: Dunning and Loch Leven
St Vigean: Ecclefechan and St Vigeans